Know Before You Go
If you’re from the U.S., you do need a visa to visit Turkey. It’s easy to get online, and I recommend iVisa. It should only take about 15-minutes and cost around $40 for up to 90 days. I know the same goes for the U.K, as Ben needed one too. You can check out your country and rates here.
You’ll also want travel insurance. I always recommend getting some sort of travel insurance for any trip simply because you never know, whether it’s eating the wrong thing or having your whole suitcase go missing. Plus, some of these activities are pretty adventurous. Of course, my top choice is World Nomads. You can easily and quickly get a quote right on their website.
Getting to Alanya
Getting around in Alanya
There are a ton of different options for getting from the airport to your hotel. You can see all the different choices on Viator.
Taxis are plenty and from my experience, fair. They all used the meter without us asking them to. It seems pretty standard. There were local buses, but I have no idea how all that works; I never took one but imagine you just hop on and pay the driver.
Map of the Things to Do in Alanya
20 Top Things to do in Alanya, Turkey
1. Alanya Castle
You can’t miss the castle which towers over the whole town. Back in the Alexander the Great days, there were pirates all over this water, and they took refuge in the castle. The walls wrap around the edge of the city from the sea up to the top of the hill. At night, they light up and it’s a really beautiful scene. You can enter for just $4 and wander around. It’s worth it just for the views from the top of the castle looking down. PS: although it’s called the castle, it is ruins of a castle.
Check out tours with Alanya Castle here
2. Damlatas Cave
The cave is quite small so you can see this in about 15 minutes if you want to or you can stay longer and just hang out on the benches inside. When building the harbor in Alanya in 1948, they found this cave by accident. During WWII, German soldiers hid here and it’s said that their respiratory problems were healed by the air inside the cave. It’s about $2 to enter.
Check out tours with the Damlatas Caves here
The Alanya Dockyard is a ruin of, well, a dockyard! It is where they used to park the ships when they needed to have work done. How they got the ships into the dock is kind of crazy. There was a Roman crane that pulled the ships up, and it pulled by having men inside a wheel like hampsters walking to make it spin. If you buy this and the Red Tower together it’s just $1 for each.
See tours with the Alanya Dockyard here.
4. Red Tower
The Red Tower, as mentioned, is just $1 if you buy the ticket with the dockyard. Attractions are so affordable here! These are right next to each other. You can see from the Red Tower the wall that connects to the castle. Inside you walk up to the top and there are some little boat figurines but it’s mostly just to see the view.
See tours with the Red Tower here.
5. Cleopatra Beach
Kleopatra Beach is the popular strip of beach and there are multiple restaurants, conveniently named by number in order. We chilled out a couple times at #22 which was a great spot. Good food, cheap drinks, and nice hammocks.
The water here is beautiful, so even if you’re not the time to sit around on a beach, try to take some time to enjoy the Mediterranean Sea while you’re here! It was chilly in May.
See tours with Kleopatra Beach here.
6. Luxury All-inclusive hotel for only $80!
I think you’ll be shocked by how affordable hotels are here. We stayed at Sunprime C Lounge, the #2 hotel in Alanya on TripAdvisor, and possibly the most luxurious one in Alanya, for just $80/night – and it’s ALL-INCLUSIVE! Check here for rates and availability.
The buffet is breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has a variety of Turkish and International food. It has options for those on a diet as well and a coffee machine. Drinks are included and there is a restaurant near the pool that everyone who books get one free meal at. The pool is wonderful and there was an underground tunnel to the sea with lots of lounge beds on the beach and out on a jetty.
The rooms were huge and had the SOFTEST beds. Bottled water is included in the room rate and they even do towel animals every day on the beds. The views of the sea are perfect and we enjoyed sitting out on the huge balcony every chance we had.
7. Pirate Ship Cave Tour
Back in the day, pirates were a serious thing here. Now, there are pirate ships all over the sea that you can rent out and do tours out to the caves and rocks along the coast to go cliff jumping. They do meals on board or you can get a party boat. It’s about $20 per person, but ask around at a few places and if you have a group, you might get a good discount.
Check out the different tour options here
8. Lunch at Dimcayi Pinarbasi
Coming down from the canyons in the mountains is an ice cold river that flows through just outside of town. There are restaurants all along the river, but this one is the most famous.
This is the best meal I had in Alanya. WOW, seriously guys this is a do not miss! They will show up on Google maps. All these restaurants that are on the river are called “Dimcayi” so make sure to go to the right one. You’ll get loads of food for around $8-9.
9. Quad Tour in the Taurus Mountains
While the sea is enticing, do not forget about the mountains! The Taurus mountains are beautiful. You can do Jeep tours, but I am always going to choose quadding when given the choice. I used the company Alp Quad & Buggy. You can call them to book at 242 538 88 00 or you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viator also has a similar tour here.
While you do have to stay in a single file line they go fast and it does have a thrill factor. There are a couple jumps (we both got some air!) and some fun tight turns to go through. They take photos and videos and sell them to you after. If you want to save money bring your own glasses and bandana which truly are necessary because of the extreme amount of dirt and dust flying up from all the quads. The price is $38 per person or $50 if you put two people on one quad.
Years ago, I did hang gliding in Interlaken and loved it. In Goa, I always see the paragliders but wondered if it would have that same rush or be mellow like parasailing is. Alanya has parasailers everywhere, so I decided to give it a go. It IS thrilling! After you run off the cliff, you are lifted up into the clouds. It’s so cold up there and you can hardly see through them.
I went paragliding with the company Ulu Sky. You can find out more on their website or email them at email@example.com. They will do corkscrew spins if you ask them to and if weather permits. You can buy videos and photos they take with a GoPro. It’s $55 for a ride.
11. Sapadere Canyon Jeep Tour
The canyon is beautiful and a great way to go up and explore the mountains. You can rent a Jeep for the day for $35 or you can take a Jeep Tour for about $25 per person. The walk through the canyon takes about 20 minutes then you reach the end where there is a waterfall. If you were interested in cycling up the mountain to here you can connect with Vela, a top cycling company.
12. Friday Market
I always like seeing local markets when I travel and in Alanya, the big market is on Fridays. If you have time go into the soap shop where they make the traditional soap you would find in a hammam. The shop is called Green Body and is just on the edge of the market (it’s on Google Maps).
13. Standup Paddleboard (SUP)
Due to choppy water and a looming storm, we did not get to go SUP and had to cancel. The SUP is done around the castle with some beautiful views. I asked the team to give me a couple photos to share since I had to cancel. They use a dome with GoPro to get some really cool shots and also offer SUP yoga. You can do SUP with Alanya Surf Team. It’s about $15 per person.
14. Jetski & Flyboard
Jet skiing is about $50 for an hour, but you can go for less time if you’d like. I was going to do this our last day before leaving for the airport but like the SUP we had to cancel due to weather. You can contact watersports-tr on their website.
15. Hamam and Spa
While in Turkey, you must try a hammam. They are traditional baths and I wrote about this in this article. Since they scrub you down and I didn’t want to lose my tan, I skipped it this time and had a massage instead. I had my massage at my hotel and it was great. It’s only $15 for hammam and about $35 for a massage. You’ll find signs for hammams everywhere in town.
If you’d prefer, you can book a hammam experience ahead of time on Viator.
16. Turkish Coffee & Tea
For just a buck you can have the strongest coffee ever. It’s very Turkish to stop and have a tea or coffee (with a cigarette) multiple times during the day from breakfast until bedtime. I had tried this years ago in Bosnia and unfortunately still find the coffee too strong for me. It’s a think bisque soupy texture with all the grounds in the tiny coffee cup. You have to at least try it! You’ll get a head rush for sure.
17. Sunset Over the Castle & Sea
The sunset changes place throughout the year. In the winter it sets over the sea but shifts to the side a bit in the summer and sets over the castle. It’s a really beautiful site. If you wanted to have a fancy dinner at sunset and see the castle you could go to Rihtim. It was really tasty! The lamb chops and calamari are a must.
18. Fresh Orange Juice
You cannot avoid oranges here. They are obsessed! You’ll see orange trees growing everywhere and next to the “ALANYA” sign a giant revolving orange. On the streets are orange shaped shacks selling fresh orange juice. It is so tasty you would think they added MSG to it. They definitely know how to grow oranges here! I got this cool glass of juice at Kleopatra 22.
I went go karting with Alanya Park. It’s in town, but you will need a taxi to reach here. You can get in touch by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org. I don’t remember the price on this one but it must have been less than $5 if I had to guess. It was a small track but had so many turns inside that it was a blast and they do go really fast. I love go karting! Ben lapped me, though, so that sucked.
20. Eat a Truly Local Alanyan Meal
The last thing that I highly suggest is to have a true Alanya lunch. There are restaurants that have food pre-cooked for lunch and ready to be served, family style by local women. You can just point out what you like. Meals are around $3-5 depending if you want a meat dish or not. I loved this meal and it was really nice to be in the local scene.
The restaurant is called Feride Lenli Ev Yemekleri. Address: Sekerhane Mah Yunusgucu Sok. No, 14/A and you can call them at 0242 512 67 66.
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I was a guest of Alanya tourism and Turkish Airlines but all opinions here are my own. I enjoyed Alanya and every activity on this list! Also this post includes affiliate links.
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Hey; I was in Istanbul a year ago too. But we had to venture back to the US; family stuff. Can’t wait to get back. For those awesome meals at little buffet places in quiet parts of the city. Thanks for sharing :)
I went to Istanbul on the way to India too. I loved it, but I haven’t been back to Turkey since then. I was supposed to go last October, on the way to the Philippines, but a day after I booked, the airport was attacked, and sadly, I had to cancel!
Brilliant post nevertheless, Rachel! :D
Thank you Rachel for the useful list. I really love Turkey. I have been living in Izmir (Turkey) for 1 year.
We have been in alanya many times and we just love it! <3 So delicious food, places to visit and peoples. Some bazar workers are little pushy and its actually stressful. We always go to the local restaurants and normal clothing shops, where we can eat and shop in peace without pushing etc. We have always buy our trips from nasa tour company from them english websites. Last summer 2018 we went to the pirate boat trip, rafting and to the Pamukkale for one day. All trips were amazing, love it!! Last summer unfortunately my husband forget him backpack to the rafting place.. We called to the nasa tour’s owner Pasha, who delivered backpack to our hotel back in same evening, super big plus to them from them customer service!! We have became good friends with Pasha, he's so funny and honest guy! They really care about customer and want them to feel special! I really recommend this place!
Great post. Sadly you have the information wrong on Cleopatra Beach. Cleopatra Beach is located on the west side of the castle, it does not include the beach on the east side, as you have pictured in your post. On the west side there is a statute of Cleopatra that tells the story of why the beach is named after her.
First: What you say is Cleopatra Beach is not the Cleopatra Beach. The beach is on the other side of the city. At the pics you are in Oba.
Hello , Its an amazing article for Alanya. I saw on your picture our dear friend Şevket who is a old member of TURSAB. I think you visited a something special day for tourist.